Fresno · Merced · Politics

It’s official: Esmeralda Soria is challenging Costa in 2020

Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria made public what had long been rumored: she’s running for Congress, challenging longtime Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno).

In a three minute video, partially recorded at Fresno City College on Wednesday, Soria highlights her biography and tackles some key issue – including college affordability and prescription drug costs.

As of her video’s publication, her website – – had not gone live.

Soria’s run has been rumored since before heading to Washington, D.C. with her colleague, Miguel Arias. Sources told The Sun that Soria met with female candidate recruitment powerhouse EMILY’s List and up-and-comer group IGNITE.

One source added that, as a condition of support, EMILY’s List required Soria attain a fundraising haul of $500,000 and secure the support of a big-name statewide elected official.

Thus far, Costa has already amassed the support of the three biggest Democratic stars in California – Gov. Gavin Newsom and Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.

With her nascent campaign has officially launched, Soria is now scheduled to brief the Fresno City Professional Employees Association, one of the public sector unions representing city employees, during their July board meeting.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at